News & Opportunities

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Mary Rose Museum shares retail practice at US Museum Store Association conference

Paul Griffiths, Head of Operations at the Mary Rose Museum and Managing Director of the museum's trading company, was an active member of last year's 'Retail' Peer Development Group and hosted the group's highly successful retail training day. The museum is also sharing good practice nationally and internationally. Paul tells the story of their recent contribution to the Museum Store Association's annual conference in the US, which was combined with study visits to a number of leading American institutions:

As with all museums and attractions retail provides a vital revenue stream at the Mary Rose Museum and an area in which we strive for constant improvement.

Around 12 months ago I became aware of the Museum Store Association. The Museum Store Association is an international organisation with the mission of advancing the nonprofit retail industry and the success of the professionals engaged in it. By encouraging high standards of knowledge and professionalism.

The Mary Rose Museum became members of MSA soon afterwards and soon after joining I was asked to speak to their annual conference about the Mary Rose Museum project and our retail journey.  This was an opportunity not to refuse. 

So in April myself and Alison Adams (Retail Manager) headed off from Heathrow to the States.  The necessity of a change of plane in Washington gave an opportunity for a brief stay in the US Capital which we used to good effect, firstly spending a day with the executive management team at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (with 9m visitors each year it is the worlds most visited museum), this was a fascinating day learning from true experts in our industry.  The next day before flying on to the conference we took the chance to visit the US Capitol building meeting with their Visitor Services Director and touring this most iconic of buildings before it opened for the day.

Then it was onwards to Hartford, Connecticut for the MSA Conference – Alison and I then spent the next three days in fascinating learning sessions, networking with retail managers from across the world and speaking with suppliers (or vendors as they are known in the US), before Monday morning brought my chance to present our journey to them.

Delighted to say a healthy crowd gathered to hear about the Mary Rose and with an hour to speak and a full 30 minutes for questions it was a perfect opportunity to spread the word not just about what we have achieved at the Mary Rose but also what we are all achieving in our region.

Museum Store Association